Saturday, January 23, 2010
The cat was not a breath stealer as urban legend would have us believe. Rather it was just a pet. No one could remember how she got there in the first place to be adopted as the resident cat at the retirement facility. She might have just came in on the heels of a visitor or staff looking for food or shelter. It was loved and petted, fed and cuddled by many of the staff and residents. Nonetheless, it did seem to have an uncannily ability. Most residents would die in their sleep, not suffering but peacefully, usually without loved ones hovering. It was common knowledge that if the cat was curled up at the feet of someone’s bed, they would be gone the next morning. It was accepted and allowed by all of the staff who actually was relieved at this phenomenon as it kept the drama, mystery and surprise to a minimum. They didn’t want the other residents to be alarmed by the passing of one of their alumni, preferring to let them be blissfully ignorant. The cat was like an early warning system so that relatives could be notified and arrangements made. I don't believe there have been any scientific studies made to explain the phenominom. I like to think the cat gives the dying person some piece in those last moments so they can go without fear.